MAY 2023 | Volume 227


Production image

Photo Credit: Chelsey Stuyt Photography. Pictured: Anthony F. Ingram, Stephanie Wong, Yoshie Bancroft.

God Said This
by Leah Nanako Winkler
Pacific Theatre
June 2-24
$37.50 or 604-731-5518

Ah, I’m so happy. My cancer bring everyone together.”

Sisters Hiro and Sophie grew up together in Kentucky, but their lives have taken them down very different paths. When their mother Masako begins chemotherapy, Hiro returns to her family’s messy world as they dig through their past to find a picture they can all fit into. God Said This is a sharp, funny, and compassionate look at what it means to face the Unknown together.

Playwright Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese-American born in Kamakura, Japan who grew up in Lexington, KY. She wrote the play while her own mother was undergoing chemotherapy. In conversation with Belt’s Julia Shiota, Winkler made the persuasive case for universal stories that center Asian-Americans: “Don’t we also deserve great ‘cancer plays’? Don’t we also deserve those types of narratives that have depicted white people for years? I’ve never seen one with a Japanese matriarch before, which is why I wanted to put it out there.”

Pacific is staging the Canadian premiere of God Said This, with a star-studded cast and design team. Yoshie Bancroft, who plays eldest sister Hiro, is fresh from Hiro Kanagawa’s Forgiveness, and Pacific Theatre audiences will have last seen Stephanie Wong in Ruby Slippers Theatre’s guest production of Benevolence by Fanny Britt.

Said Wong: “This will be the first time I will be performing a role written as mixed race, which is pretty special to me. This family dynamic resonates with my own personal experience, coming from a mixed-race family dealing with the universal struggles of cancer and alcoholism.” Bancroft echoed the sentiments, adding: “There is so much heart, care, pain, but most importantly for me: the representation of a mixed Japanese/white experience, family story, and the cultural nuances that come with that. Also - the humour!”

Artistic director Kaitlin Williams is set to direct, reuniting with lighting designer Jonathan Kim and sound designer Chengyan Boon after theirwildly successful touring run of Kim’s Convenience. Maki Yi, who played another matriarch in Kim’s, centers the family as the ailing but cheerful Masako, with Anthony F. Ingram stepping in as recovering alcoholic patriarch, James. Sebastian Archibald brings some lightness to the proceedings as Hiro’s high school compatriot John.

Plays June 2-24. 8pm Wed-Sat with 2pm Sat matinees at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.  
Pay-what-you-can preview Thurs June 1 at 8pm. For tickets ($37.50) call 604.731.5518 or visit

For special events, including talkbacks, Mask Wednesday performances, ASL interpretation, and school group opportunities, visit


Featuring Sebastian Archibald, Yoshie Bancroft, Anthony F. Ingram, Stephanie Wong, and Maki Yi.

Directed by Kaitlin Williams. Set Design by Alaia Hamer. Lighting Design by Jonathan Kim. Sound Design by Chengyan Boon. Costume Design by Melicia Zaini. Props Coordination by Monica Emme. Assistant Direction by Parmiss Sehat. Stage Management by Taylor MacKinnon.



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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews